Wednesday 26 October 2016

Man who knew nothing about hurling 'until he read Cú Chulainn' finds incredible use for the wooden sticks

Catherine Devine

Published 04/06/2016 | 12:50

One man has found a new creative use for hurley sticks making them into guitars, fiddles and "everything in between".

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“The whole idea started out as a joke,” said creator of DaShtick guitars, Robert Naczas.

“I was always into building quirky instruments. I built my first two-string cello from an old pot and a hand-carved neck and I still have it,” the Polish man said.

Naczas said he got the idea for the unique instruments when he was shopping in Lidl and noticed that hurley sticks were on sale.

“I suddenly thought it would be interesting to put a pickup and some strings on it because I was pretty sure my bandmates would like it.

“The shape and length of the hurl seemed perfect so I bought one, took it home and that's how the first Shtick was created,” he said.

Born in Poland, Naczas said he knew nothing about hurley sticks until he read about the adventures of Cú Chulainn.

He said that the Hurley Guitar was very popular at gigs and is played by musicians across the world including Steve Wickham from The Waterboys.

“Most models are fretted, have three strings and a humbucker pickup. It's made out of a single piece of ash, which gives it the flexibility to bend for some cool tremolo-like effects and at the same time it's rigid enough to hold in tune. I am still experimenting.”

His favourite material is “imagination” and every Hurley Guitar is unique and can be customised.

Naczas is in contact with hurley stick maker and inventor Peter Curran with the hope of improving the quality of DaShtick guitars.

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